Government admits millions of antibody tests won’t be used because they aren’t good enough
- Credit: PA
Millions of coronavirus antibody testing kits ordered by the government will not be used because experts say they are not good enough.
The tests, which reveal whether someone has recovered from the disease, should be able to indicate how many have had the virus and recovered.
But Professor John Newton, director of health improvement at Public Health England, had admitted that the antibody tests brought by the government so far are 'not good enough to be rolling out in a very large scale'.
He told the Times that although they can identify those who have been severely ill, it cannot prove those that have had the mild strain.
'The test developed in China was validated against patients who were severely ill with a very large viral load, generating a large amount of antibodies... whereas we want to use the test in the context of a wider range of levels of infection including people who are quite mildly infected. So for our purposes, we need a test that performs better than some of these other tests.'
Health secretary Matt Hancock admitted that there are no immediate plans to roll out the testing until they find the right kit.
You may also want to watch:
He said: 'We're getting the test results through every day, I was looking at some last night. But we still don't have any that are good enough.'
Previously there had been a belief that the home testing kits could be ready in days, but Professor Newton said 'the idea that we might have it in days was based on the fact that we might just buy the existing test, and at the moment the judgment is that that wouldn't be the best thing to do. It would be better to try and improve the test'.
- 1 Pro-Brexit fishing campaigner says Boris Johnson's deal has left her with 'no fish'
- 2 Nigel Farage reminded of claim that 'acid test of Brexit' surrounds fishing after clip resurfaces
- 3 European parliament agrees to add British overseas territories to post-Brexit tax haven blacklist
- 4 Ed Miliband mocks Kwasi Kwarteng's 'road to Damascus conversion'
- 5 Telegraph columnist blames Angela Merkel for Brexit
- 6 Piers Morgan causes hilarity with 'Priti Patel with a brain' jibe
- 7 Brussels to launch campaign teaching younger Britons about the EU
- 8 Backlash over Tory MP receiving Covid-19 vaccine despite not being classed as vulnerable
- 9 Boris Johnson to visit Scotland this week in attempt to shore up the union
- 10 SNP MP asks Priti Patel why she has not stood down following UK border comments
But he added: 'The scientists in Oxford who have been evaluating them are working with manufacturers to say, 'We've tested your test, and it doesn't seem to perform quite well enough, but we think we can work with you to improve it.' So it is a little bit uncertain but there are commercial partners able to work with us. I'm optimistic.'
Become a Supporter
The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.